Sid Hartman has been a major voice on the Minnesota sports scene for several decades. He writes a column four days a week, and has a weekly radio program on WCCO830 at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. He also can be heard at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. on weekdays.

Defense fails Vikings again

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Vikings defense Updated: October 13, 2013 - 5:00 PM

Well, one thing about the Vikings 35-10 loss to the Panthers is that nobody can blame Christian Ponder.

There has been all of this propaganda from all the geniuses in the media questioning Ponder’s ability as a winning quarterback even though he led the team to a 10-6 record and a playoff spot last season.

Ponder, who is healthy after being rested because of a bad rib injury, sat out the game while Matt Cassel completed 32 of 44 passes for 241 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown that came when the game was already decided, posting a quarterback rating of 74.1 compared to a quarterback rating of 143.4 for Cam Newton who was 20 of 26 for 242 yards and three touchdowns, along with a rushing score.

The Vikings defense just has to find an answer to stop the passing attacks of opponents with Carolina having a big day throwing the ball just like previous Vikings opponents have done.

The Panthers have been up and down this year and are now 2-3 after suffering close losses to Seattle and Buffalo, a blowout loss to Arizona, and now they have blown out two teams in their wins against the Giants and the Vikings.

But one thing they were known for was to have one of the best defenses in the NFL and they showed this against the Vikings on Sunday, especially when it came to the running game.

The Vikings rushed for a season low of 75 yards and Adrian Peterson had 10 rushes for 62 yards which included one run for 31 yards. On the other hand the Panthers rushed 39 times for 131 yards against a Vikings defense that allowed the winners a total of 367 yards to 290 for the Vikings, most of which was put on the board in the fourth quarter.

Last year the Vikings were 7-1 at home and now, after just two home games they are guaranteed to post a worst record at home in 2013.

So now the big question is can the Vikings bounce back to win at the New York Giants next week and then face the Packers in what would be a must-win game if they are to have any chance to compete in the NFC North.

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